Coyotes fans, say goodbye to Jobing.com Arena and say hello to Gila River Arena.
The team announced the name change during a press conference Wednesday. The name change was voted on by the Glendale City Council on Tuesday, where it was decided in 6-1 vote. When IceArizona bought the team last summer, they were allowed to end the deal with Jobing.com and has now signed a nine-year deal with Gila River Casinos.
“This is an exciting day for us,” said Anthony LeBlanc, President and CEO of the Coyotes. “It’s the culmination of many months working to ensure that we have a naming rights partner that we feel proud of.”
Gila River Casinos has been sponsoring the team, along with the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks for several years, but this is the first time a Native American tribe has naming right to a sports arena in one of the major four sports in North America.
According to LeBlanc, the outdoor signage for the arena has been ordered, and should be in place by Oct. 9 when the Coyotes host the Winnipeg Jets.
Among the people attending the press conference were Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett, Coyotes captain Shane Doan, goalie Mike Smith, and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.
Gila River Arena opened in late 2004 as the Glendale Arena. In 2006, Jobing.com bought the naming rights and signed a 10-year deal worth $30 million starting Jan. 1 2007.
Swede living in Phoenix, AZ. I cover the Arizona Coyotes for THW, Swedish-based SvenskaFans.com and sportsbreakthrough.com. Host of SvenskaFans’ NHL podcast (in Swedish) and can also be heard (in English) on Real Hockey Talk on AM1480 KPHX on Saturdays at noon MT.